We are here on the Karmakonsum Conference on LOHAS Marketing in Frankfurt, and in a few hours discussions hit the podium and heat up the athmosphere. An eclectic mix of people on the conference and an enlightening sunshine makes the conference hot: „Alte Ökos“ (old ecos), Neogreens, conventional marketing agencies, representatives from sustainable businesses, etc.
Basic vs Lidl
Georg Schweisfurth from the German Bio-supermarkt Basic declared, to take care to not forget about the eco-activists. They might be just a little part of the consumers that buy your product, but their voice influences largely what the larger group of LOHAS think. In the case of Basic, where consumers and personnel reacted strongly on the possible takeover of the Bio-supermarkt by Lidl, which resulted in consumer boycotts, that might be a tough lesson.
LOHAS is Megatrend
This warning comes back in more speeches. Dr. Heike Wenzel from the Zukunftinstitut states that LOHAS is about the thing itself. It is not a short term hype, but connects to a long term process of change in society. It is a megatrend, influencing the market substantially for up to 50 years. LOHAS is also not a target group, but a lifestyle and movement of change.
Also the speech of Fred Grimm on greenwashing, author and journalist for eco-lifestyle magazine Ivyworld, is critical towards a too supervisial marketing strategy. Greenwashing is, according to Fred, disinformation to present an environmentally public imag. He showed some hilarious examples of greenwashing, in example a large campaign by Exxon in 2006 on CO2, stating: ‚they call it pollution, we call it life‘. Nothing wrong with CO2, it is all natural, understand? Some greenwashing examples got nice reactions from present marketing agencies, who were responsible for the campaign. An exciting mix of visions.
A nice piece of ecotainment closed of the speech by Fred Grimm: ‚It is not easy being green‘ by Kermit. Indeed, it is not easy being green. It takes a lot of effort, and if you want to be green, make it real, get your whole chain involved and be transparent. That’s one of the things all speeches more or less connect.
to be continued…